ISSN 1556-6757














Volume 1, Issue 1, 2007
Can Written Second Language Grammar Improve Without Explicit Instruction?
Julie Whitlow

This study provides evidence that extensive reading and writing improves accurate use of verbs in second language writing without explicit grammatical instruction or focus on form.  Over the course of a 15-week semester, 19 college-level ESL writers from varying language backgrounds significantly reduced verb-use errors without explicit grammatical instruction.  This contradicts many prior studies that assert that “form-focused” instruction is necessary to ensure grammatical accuracy.  Many of these studies provide questionable results, however, as they do not gather longitudinal data; they do not use spontaneously produced language to document effects of input and output; and they employ special methods, instructors, tasks, and equipment to the learners.  As this study does present limited quantifiable evidence that naturalistic language data does result in improved syntactic form in second language learners, further investigation is necessary to understand the classroom practices that best lead to the long-term mastery of second language structures. Full Article

Sartre and Camus: Nausea and Existentialist Humor
Richard E. Baker

This essay examines Jean-Paul Sartre’s notion of the absurd, first in his philosophy and then in his novel Nausea, in relation to Albert Camus’s seminal work The Myth of Sisyphus. After basic links are made to three layers of the absurd—the in-itself and for-itself; the past, present, and future; and facticity and transcendence—a historical perspective is given in terms of Sartre and Camus’s personal history. This history centers on their famous quarrel in 1952, and connections will be made to show that Sartre will take on certain characteristics apropos of the character Anny in Nausea whereas Camus will do the same in regard to the character of Roquentin. This comic analogy will circumscribe a basic tenet of existentialist humor—historical irony—which links to Sartre’s discussion in Nausea of the absurd, bad faith, vaudeville (an historical form of absurd humor), nausea, adventures, and creativity. The powerful and distinctive shape of these two men’s literature and their lives certainly exemplifies and reinforces this basic tenet. Full Article


Homosocial Spaces and Canonicity in the Victorian and Edwardian Eras
Lavaughn Towell


This paper explores the notion of homosocial space in the Victorian Era as it pertains to canonicity issues in literature. Homosocial space simply means that space which men set aside, such as in men.s-only clubs or situations such as the relationship of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, in which women play a limited role, if at all. Yet, this notion of men-only spaces created problems for the works vying to become canonical literature.not because of the exclusion of women, but for the ambivalence felt toward this separation of the sexes. Underlying this ambivalence is a fear of homosexuality; yet, these spaces also violate Matthew Arnold.s and Thomas Carlyle.s views toward industry. Often, the men in these novels fail to act, whether

heroically or artistically. Matthew Arnold.s works .The Function of Criticism at the Present Time. and .The Study of Poetry. usefully navigate the trail toward canonicity, at least for the Victorian Era. Using Arnold.s notion and the prevailing social attitudes toward masculinity and enterprise, this paper examines the problems of canonicity for Oscar Wilde.s The Portrait of Dorian Gray, E.M. Forster.s Maurice, and John Buchan.s The Thirty-Nine Steps. Full Article


Reading Differently, Rereading for Difference in Versions of Rimbaud’s “Mouvement”

Brian G. Kennelly


How to engage students to reread Arthur Rimbaud’s 1886 poem “Mouvement” differently? What can they learn about the poem and in the process about themselves as readers of literature through its various versions and English language translations? Might rereading for difference hold pedagogical promise? How might a comparative study of the poem’s various versions in French and in English translation favor active reading and help students embrace the poem as differently meaningful because of its modernity? Full Article


The Influence of L2 on the Syntactic Processing of L1 by Arab EFL Learners

Hashim H. Noor


By approaching syntactic processing through the Competition Model research paradigm, the present study examines how Arab university students assign the subject to the sentence of their mother-tongue (Arabic). Overall, bilingual Ss displayed better performance as compared to their monolingual peers. Although, there were no significant effects for word order, other significant effects such as animacy have shown up primarily in NVN sentences in the performance of the bilingual Ss. When the two sentences have animate nouns, our bilingual Ss scored significantly higher on both VNN and NNV. This result shows that bilingual Ss used the benefit of their knowledge of the L2 to better process these sentences. The bilingual Ss showed more preference only for N1 subjective in VNN than did the monolingual group, when we speak about case ending factor. Full Article


The reciprocal and Associative in Shona
Calisto Mudzingwa


This study compares the morpho-syntactic properties of the reciprocal and associative markers in Shona, against a background of the reciprocal and associative markers in Bantu. The study goes beyond previous studies both in Shona (e.g., Fortune 1982), and in Bantu (e.g., Kimenyi 1980) by making a comparison of the reciprocal and associative. The goal is to contribute to a better understanding of the reciprocal and the associative and to language typology. The study concludes that the reciprocal and associative markers are:
(i) in complementary distribution; (ii) closely related semantically; (iii) have the same grammatical functions; (iv) have different distributional properties. 
Full Article